Cutting costs is “a normal part of maturing as an industry”, says Triton Digital SVP

Sharon Taylor says advertisers will come back as podcast industry grows

Cost-cutting and investment reductions by podcast companies are a sign of the industry maturing, according to Sharon Taylor, senior vice president of digital audio technology and advertising company Triton, adding that advertisers will continue to come back.

Amidst a number of podcast companies having had to cut back on investments and podcast costs in recent times due to macroeconomic challenges, Taylor spoke to PodPod about podcast advertising trends at The Podcast Show, which took place in Islington last week. 

“Podcasting is still really, really young, and it needed to have lots of money injected into it so that we could get to the place of technical and advertising that we needed,” said Taylor. “This is just the next stage of our evolution. It means tightening the belts a little bit and making more sensible decisions, which you do as a mature industry. The advertisers will come back; it hasn't dropped completely off a cliff.” 

In terms of future growth, Taylor added that Triton has seen a “strong rebound” in programmatic exchanges this month and that she thinks the dollars will be coming back to the industry because the listening has not left. Programmatic ads will have a greater push, according to Taylor, as the industry starts to attract new buyers that want to target specific audience scales and more people will be leaning towards dynamic ad insertion with host-read ads, once they realise that it can still “feel really authentic and really good”. 

Additionally, Taylor said that subscriptions and bundling packages such as The New York Times’ newly-launched audio journalism application and video ads on YouTube may also be upcoming trends in podcast advertising in the coming year as companies start to think of new ways to monetise content.

“We are experiencing a bit of a slump in dollars at the moment coming into the space,” said Taylor. “And so I think a lot of people are going to be looking at new ways to monetise until the ad dollars come flowing back.”

Stak co-owner and creative director Pete Donaldson also said that his podcast platform will also be experimenting with more visual products this year as video podcasting on YouTube becomes more popular, as well as looking at how to monetise listens on the platform. 

Other podcasters that featured in this week’s PodPod special episode at The Podcast Show included Carver PR publicist Becca Newson talking about the impact that the British Podcast Awards have had on past winners, Fresh Air founder Neil Cowling on the importance of in-person networking at events, Unedited founder and creative director Bernard Achampong on owning your IP in podcasting, Folding Pocket senior producer James Payne on AI in podcast advertising, Goldsmith College senior technical radio practice tutor Lisa Hack and her masters student Anna Harris on incorporating podcasting into media courses at universities, and audio artist Axel Kacoutié on sound design and their collaboration with Shade podcast’s Lou Mensah